On a sunny Saturday I was stuck in Saturday’s lunch time traffic on my way to The Mall (shopping mall), listening to the radio….
When I heard an advert about sausages. The play-actor in the advert (in this case a stressed and how it sounded to me, young mum) was promoting the sausages as a way to keep her children quiet so that she can have a moment of peace. That is when it became clear to me that the food advertising nowadays is mainly based on fast, convenient and unfortunately unhealthy food. We rarely see or hear healthy, nutritious food in TV/Radio etc. adverts (and if there are any those are usually fake “healthy” foods). Shouldn’t those kind of marking sources be used as an education channels?
Back to this sausage advert – at no point during the 20 second advert the mum was referring to the nutritional values of the product (in this case we all know that the sausages are not really a healthy option, unless they come from a good source like direct from farmers) or taste, texture etc. All she was happy about, is that her children were quiet…. For a moment.
Is that the only important factor for the majority of the population? Do we (as a society as a whole) actually care what goes into our children – our future? And…. Are we blindly trusting the food manufactures? Food Marketing? Food Advertising regulators? Or is it all just about savings? Big profit for the food industry? What is a “healthy” dose of junk food marketing? If any…..
I never thought or paid much attention to the marketing of junk food and sugary beverages (or any food adverts). I researched the food advertising regulations in the UK and found this recent study. Very interesting! So even though there are regulations in place, how and why do junk foods/beverages (including so-called “diet” drinks) get predominantly advertised? And why are there not tougher measures being introduced? Are governments in developed countries scared of the food industry? Scared to loose the big income which than they have to spend (or overspend) on high NHS costs (public health insurance)?
In my opinion the food adverts broadcast should include healthy foods, explaining their nutritional values, what vitamins, minerals are present in that food, why are those vitamins/mineral good and what they do.
Since doing my Sports Nutrition course I learned how important a well balanced nutritious diet is. What role vitamins and minerals play in our bodies and how important those are for human health, and what happens if our bodies don’t get enough of those vitamins/minerals. It is only the basics I’ve learned so far but even they help me to make the right choices while shopping, reading the labels for hidden “stuff” and creating healthy, balanced and nutritious meals/snacks.
I do understand that not everyone has time, money or particular interest in nutrition to do such a course. That is why it is so important to use the food advertising as an education source to reach to the general population (as it seems that we spend a lot of our free time in front of the television anyway). And then there is the money factor, especially in the times of recession and a double dip recession. BUT shouldn’t we invest more in our health and our children (our future) rather than into the big fat and already rich fast-food manufacturers? Shouldn’t we better support our local farmers and growers who can you tell exactly what is in their products. Clearly that is the way for healthier and happier lives….